CusineCuisines from Royal House of Sailana

India has an ancient heritage and its many cultures have inherited a variety of cuisine, incomparable and unsurpassable. There’s something however to be said about royalty and their connection with fine dining and lavish lifestyles. The mystique connected with the maharajas and their relevance in present-day India, shorn of their kingdoms and subjects, and living in palaces turned hotels, usually is enforced by the kind of lifestyles they live – food, drink and entertainment.

We bid you welcome to the culinary world of Sailana — a treasure trove of recipes laced with exotic spices, rose petals and sandalwood powder, a world of secret recipes over a century old; and where there’s a story behind every dish.

Most of these recipes do not use tomatoes, as they were introduced in India much later. There are recipes in the Sailana family collection that date back to the era of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb.

The culinary culture of Sailana dates back three generations of master culinary experts. Raja Sir Dilip Singh Ji K.C.I.E of Sailana excelled in the culinary arts and collected recipes of bygone eras from the Nizam of Hyderabad, Kashmir and Begum of Bhopal; from which emanated the most exotic culinary recipes. He took great pains to translate ancient recipe books from Sanskrit, Urdu and Persian to ensure that these recipes were preserved for posterity.

His son Digvijay Singhji of Sailana preserved many of these recipes in the famous cookbook “Cooking delights of the Maharajas” –  a book that is in its 13th edition, and can be found in the collections of epicures the world over. One copy was even found in the collection of the infamous deposed ruler of Iraq. This link takes you to Vir Singhvi’s review of Sailana’s recipes.

Today, H.H. Vikram Singh Ji of Sailana along with his daughter Shailja and son-in-law Tikaraj Aishwarya Katoch, keep the legacy of the royal kitchens alive by hosting the Annual Sailana Food Festival at their Surajgarh Fort, a heritage hotel in Shekhawati, Rajastan; besides H.H. Vikram Singh Ji conducts food festivals to relive the Sailana recipes.